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Girija Vaidyanathan is the fourth woman to employ the top post in the State

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In choosing Dr. Girija Vaidyanathan, an officer of the 1981 batch of the Indian Administrative Service, as the new Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, the State Government has gone by the seniority list in the bureaucracy, reversing the unhealthy trend of supersession set in recent times.

Known to be an efficient civil servant, two years ago, she was among those who were superseded when K. Gnanadesikan, another IAS officer who is junior to her by a year, replaced Mohan Verghese Chunkath as Chief Secretary. The 1981 IAS batch officer had undergone the same bitter experience six months ago when P. Rama Mohana Rao, much junior to her from the 1985 batch, was chosen for the post.

The 57-year-old Ms. Vaidyanathan, now holding the post of Commissioner of Land Administration (CLA), is the daughter of S. Venkitaramanan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and former Finance Secretary in the Central government, and sister-in-law of S.Ve. Shekher, veteran film and theatre personality.

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